The sister of Swedish downtempo darling Little Dragon, Sumie could have tried harder to avoid her sibling's shadow. Her self-titled debut shares the slow tempos and mournful moods of her sister's work, but she's more of a minimalist singer-songwriter, pairing her whispery voice with delicate guitar strums that occasionally sound like a harp. Luckily, she manages to establish her own identity.
Sumie traverses the territory Mazzy Star occupies but lands closer to the realm of folksinger Marissa Nadler, whose dark tunes are as haunted as they are haunting. With dreamy, repeated lyrics like "Kissed on your shoulder/To make you, to make you, to make you/Find me," songs like "Midnight Glories" are ideal for a bedtime mixtape. Unfortunately, if you're listening to Sumie from start to finish, you may be deep asleep by "Sailor Friends," which concludes the album with a beautiful sigh of a piano line.